The Strategist

Glencore posts record profit thanks to a sharp rise in commodity prices

08/15/2018 - 05:21

Despite the scandal, the financial affairs of the trading giant reached a climax thanks to the rise in prices for commodities.

Ivan Glasenberg
Ivan Glasenberg
Swiss mining and trading company, Glencore PLC, one of the world's largest suppliers of raw materials, including oil, reported for January-June. The company showed a record profit in the first half of the year due to a sharp rise in raw material prices.

The net income of Glencore, one of the world's largest suppliers of coal, copper and zinc, in the first half of 2018 grew by 13% to $ 2.78 billion. Revenues rose 8% to 108.6 billion dollars.

Income before interest on loans, taxes and depreciation amounted to a record for six months of 8.3 billion dollars, which is 23% higher than in the previous year. Nevertheless, it turned out to be somewhat lower than forecasted by specialists. Net debt fell by 16% to $ 9 billion compared with the end of 2017.

The successful performance of Glencore indicates the strength of the raw material extraction sector, which suffered a very serious loss three years ago. Then, the prices of minerals plummeted thanks to the weakening demand from China, which stalled.

However, the CEO of the company Ivan Glasenberg said that the first half of the year was volatile for the extractive companies due to a strong dollar and increased risks of America's more aggressive trade policy. According to him, the newly emerged concerns about the stability of the growth of the Chinese economy adversely affected the price of metals. Nevertheless, Glasenberg argues, Glencore is confident in correctness of the chosen course and the strength of the market.

This year, business of the Swiss giant was negatively affected by investigation of the activities of its copper and other mines in the Congo. In July, the company received a summons from the US Department of Justice with a request to provide documents relevant to activities in the Congo, Nigeria and Venezuela. Investigators were especially interested in Glencore's ties with Dan Gertler, a mining tycoon from Israel and a former major investor in the Swiss company's activities in the Congo. In December last year, Gertler came under the sanctions of the US Department of Commerce for his friendship with Congolese President Joseph Kabila, with the help of whom he made a huge fortune. Dan Gertler, of course, rejected all charges against him.